Not all skylights open--some are intended to let light in but not air. Other styles of skylight may have a small drop-down ventilation panel or screen that provides ventilation without opening the skylight. Many skylights, however, are designed to open. Some skylights will have a pole, chain or crank set at a low level so that they can be manually opened without having to climb on to a ladder or step stool.

Step 1

Stand on a stable surface, like a step stool or a small ladder, to reach the skylight if necessary.

Step 2

Locate the latch on your skylight. This is usually be a small lever that you flip to unlock the skylight. If there's no latch, your skylight won't lock shut, so you don't need to worry about unlocking it.

Step 3

Press gently up on the skylight. If it doesn't move, it might be locked.

Step 4

Flip the latch lever to unlock the skylight.

Step 5

Press up on the skylight again. It should open upwards. If it doesn't, check to make sure that the latch is flipped all the way to the open position.

Step 6

Latch the skylight open. Some skylights have a latch that will engage automatically, while others may have a small pole, not unlike the support for holding the hood of your car open, that you must slide into place.